[Meet The 2018 IMBA Class]Prescilla Cai on Her Decision to Join the International MBA Program

Publisher : MBA Office       Dec.07,2018

After graduating from a top Canadian university in 2013, Prescilla Cai pursued a career in investment banking and eventually landed a job as an analyst at Morgan Stanley’s Hong Kong office. After spending four years with the firm, Cai decided to pursue an International MBA degree at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University Antai School of Economics and Management and started her two-year program in September. We sat down with her to find out more about why she chose the program, and what have been her favorite aspects of it so far.

So what was it like working at Morgan Stanley and why did you decide to apply for an MBA program after working there for four years?
I joined Morgan Stanley’s Hong Kong office as an analyst back in 2014, and really enjoyed the culture and the growth opportunities the company offered. I was promoted to the associate level within two years, and later to director during my final year at the firm. Having worked with some of the consultants, I became interested in the role, but realized I needed to further develop my strategic management skills, or the ability to see the big picture from the perspective of different stakeholders. This made me want to do an MBA.

How did you finally decide on the International MBA program at Antai College of Economics and Management?
I had my mind set on studying in Asia since I already have a bachelor’s degree from an institution in the West. I believe doing an MBA in this part of the world would further enrich my profile. It was actually my boss at Morgan Stanley, who’s also my mentor, who recommended Shanghai because it’s such an international city, and because China’s on its way to becoming the world’s largest economy.
After narrowing down my choices to three schools in the city, I finally chose the International MBA program at Antai College, because it offers the opportunity to study alongside both local students and those from other countries, as well as those from different professional backgrounds. The application process also made a difference, as it gave me a very good first impression of the school. The recruitment officer at Antai College was very friendly and patient, and she personally answered all the questions I had about the program.

Two months on, what have been your favorite aspects of the program so far?
The Communications class allowed me to hone my public speaking skills, as we have to do presentations in front of 80 students everyday. In the beginning, I stumbled a lot, but I eventually became much more confident in speaking in front of a big crowd. I also love to work on different case studies and group projects. As team members are randomly assigned, we get to work with people with different backgrounds and strengths.

Besides the academic program, what else do you enjoy about studying at Antai College?
The International Students Society organizes field trips and Chinese culture-related activities for us on a regular basis. Last weekend, our class went to Suzhou together, and I also went to Hangzhou with some of my classmates before that. In just two months, I’ve already explored a lot of the city and its surrounding areas.

When will you be graduating, and what are your plans afterwards?
I’ll be graduating in 2020, and I want to stay in Shanghai and work here. I’ve already had an interview at a Merger and Acquisition firm, and they were quite impressed with my résumé, so I think there will be a lot of good opportunities here.